LBJ students

The LBJ Legacy

"We have a School of Public Affairs ... which will try to produce thinkers and doers: people who dream of progress and will try to turn those dreams into achievements."
—Lyndon B. Johnson

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson, in 1965, came to an agreement with The University of Texas' president and Board of Regents to establish the LBJ Library and Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. His remarks above, from the dedication ceremony on May 22, 1971, demonstrated his vision of a public affairs school that blended the academic and the practical—building the foundation for distinguishing the LBJ School as a maverick among its peers.

A Legacy of Leadership

The LBJ School was the first graduate public affairs program to blend academic theory with practical experience—exposing students to real public life challenges both in and outside the classroom. This unconventional approach proved to be extremely effective, and today it is an accepted model for public affairs graduate programs.

A Legacy of Action

President Johnson insisted on "getting it done." The LBJ School carries out that mandate in a tradition that goes far beyond LBJ's sweeping Great Society program to confront a global environment that is fraught with complex problems. We do not shy away from difficult and persistent problems: They fuel our imaginations.

A Legacy of Public Service

"I hope that the future public servants who begin their careers in the School will tomorrow be serving effectively not only in the bureaus and departments of the Federal Government and the Congress, but also in city halls and court houses and state capitols—not only in Texas, but in every region in the country.

"Above all, I hope that as they master new techniques and disciplines to improve the machinery of government, they will still build their careers of service around a dedication to one of the most cherished principles of our democracy: the greatest good for the greatest number." —Lyndon B. Johnson, May 22, 1971

Contributing viable solutions to society is our legacy and our trademark. It's in the LBJ School's DNA, from LBJ himself to distinguished faculty members such as Barbara Jordan to the desire of our students to be tomorrow's public leaders.

The Legacy Lives On

Our more than 4,700 alumni across the nation and the globe are making a difference. As leaders in local, state, national and international government, nonprofits and the corporate sector, as well as in think tanks and academia, these alumni reflect the LBJ School's success in preparing generations of thoughtful leaders and scholars.

The LBJ School Mission

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is committed to improving the quality of public service in the United States and abroad at all levels of governance and civic engagement. Our goals are to:

  • Prepare students and professionals, from a variety of backgrounds, for leadership positions in public service by providing educational opportunities grounded in theory, ethics, analytical skills and practice;

  • Produce interdisciplinary research to advance our understanding of complex problems facing society and to seek creative solutions for addressing them;

  • Promote effective public policy and management practice by maintaining a presence in scholarly and policy communities and in the popular media;

  • Foster civic engagement by providing a forum for reasoned discussion and debate on issues of public concern.